Enamel Microcracks Induced by Simulated Occlusal Wear in Mature, Immature, and Deciduous Teeth

Biomed Res Int. 2018 Apr 16;2018:5658393. doi: 10.1155/2018/5658393. eCollection 2018.


Enamel wear, which is inevitable due to the process of mastication, is a process in which the microcracking of enamel occurs due to the surface contacting very small hard particles. When these particles slide on enamel, a combined process of microcutting and microcracking in the surface and subsurface of the enamel takes place. The aim of this study was to detect microscopic differences in the microcrack behavior by subjecting enamel specimens derived from different age groups (immature open-apex premolars, mature closed-apex premolars, and deciduous molars) to cycles of simulated impact and sliding wear testing under controlled conditions. Our findings indicated that the characteristics of the microcracks, including the length, depth, count, orientation, and relation to microstructures differed among the study groups. The differences between the surface and subsurface microcrack characteristics were most notable in the enamel of deciduous molars followed by immature premolars and mature premolars whereby deciduous enamel suffered numerous, extensive, and branched microcracks. Within the limitations of this study, it was concluded that enamel surface and subsurface microcracks characteristics are dependent on the posteruptive age with deciduous enamel being the least resistant to wear based on the microcrack behavior as compared to permanent enamel.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Dental Enamel / pathology*
  • Dental Occlusion*
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Stress, Mechanical*
  • Tooth, Deciduous / pathology*
  • Young Adult